UBports, the maintainer and community behind the Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system, is pleased to announce that the long-awaited feature of of being able to run Android apps on Ubuntu Touch has reached a new milestone with the inauguration of “Project Anbox”. Anbox - a shorted form of ‘Android-in-a-Box” - is a community effort which allows Android apps to execute in a container in a more native way rather than the more common approach of using an Android emulator, which compromises performance and usability. During the next few weeks, UBports will release a pre-alpha version of Anbox with setup instructions.
People have come to depend on certain applications that are not available on Ubuntu Touch. In order to become a full-featured and mainstream mobile operating system, Ubuntu Touch needs to offer its users the proprietary services they depend on, at least until the point when free and open source alternatives are viable. As a result of a late start to the game, it is nearly impossible for UBports to generate the market traction required to motivate those proprietary developers to create those apps for our platform, and it's unreasonable to expect skilled UBports developers to use their time creating third party clients for proprietary services that may get banned as soon as they start to work on Ubuntu Touch. Having android apps is a logical solution to help us bridge the gap that is in front of us.
Anbox will be an optional feature on Ubuntu Touch allowing the containerization of all Android apps as needed by the users. This will provide them maximum control and security, since those apps will stay isolated from each other and from the rest of the operating system.
Continue to watch the UBports blog for more details on using a development version of Anbox in the coming weeks. Not all devices which currently run Ubuntu Touch will be supported, more details on this to come.